Volunteers’ hard work makes ‘play ball’ a reality

Ozaukee Warriors group pitches in to get Oak Park in shape for the 2018 season
By 
JOE POIRIER
Ozaukee Press Staff

A couple of weeks ago, 50 members of the Ozaukee Warriors Softball/Baseball Association began some spring cleaning in Fredonia’s Oak Park to gear up for the start of the season.

According to club president Paul Krause, the players and their parents spent two days hauling dirt and seeding the field before a winter storm arrived.

“It’s Wisconsin, so the weather was a bit tough. It was cold and wet, but that’s what drove our decision to do the work,” Krause said.

“The forecast said we had to accelerate our schedule.” 

Several benefactors donated heavy-duty equipment to expedite the cleanup process, including a mini excavator, two skid steers, a tractor with a backhoe and spreader, and a tractor with a seeder. 

“At one point, we had five pieces of heavy equipment all helping out at the same time,” Krause said, noting grass seed and stones were also donated. 

During the project, the volunteers dug up the infield to improve drainage and replaced the dirt. They also installed new bases and a portable outfield fence. 

“Oak Park was built years ago for an adult league and the fence is 300 feet (from home plate),” Krause said. “We put in a removable fence so we can set it at the appropriate depth for the teams that will be playing.”

Another factor driving the club’s decision to clean up the park is that it will be the home field of the Ozaukee High School girls’ softball team, which will hold its home opener May 7.  

“The key driver for us was the high school girls’ softball home opener,” Krause said.

“It’s a big day for us in the Fredonia area because it’s our inaugural season for girls’ softball. This is the first time we’ll have a softball team in northern Ozaukee.”

Starting in June, Oak Park will also become the home field for the association’s three baseball teams for boys in grades three through eight, and three girls’ softball teams for 10U, 12U and 14U age levels.

The league will also have coed tee-ball and coach-pitch teams for young children. Those teams will play at Fireman’s Park. 

“Oak Park is our competitive field, so we wanted to get the projects done on it first,” Krause said.

More than 100 kids have registered for association programs, but initially organizers weren’t sure there would be enough youngsters to field teams after the previous organizer resigned in February.

“There’s no question there’s been great support from the community and parents,” Krause said. “It’s been very rewarding to see the amount of response we have received.”

For more information or to register a player, email owsba1@gmail.com

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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